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Here are the boys in their "space ships" talking long-distance about all those things boys talk about.

Last night I took Aidan and Ricky to the community center where they have a Christmas shop for kids-all items priced at less than $5-the kids are taken into the shop by a helper (parents not allowed) and buy for the people on their list.  They come out with a bag of wrapped and tagged presents.  It's the best.  They were both really excited by their purchases.

The community center also had Santa Claus waiting upstairs to hear kids' wishes and give them a candy cane.  He was a really good Santa.  Ricky sat on his lap and chatted a little, but Aidan knew it wasn't the "real" Santa because he is busy getting ready for Christmas, so he just watched.

During the day Aidan and I put up our first fake tree.  G has been bugging me for years to get a fake one and I refuse, but I did agree to a fake one upstairs.  So about three years ago I bought the bows; two years ago the lights (purple too, though you can't tell in these shots); and last year Aidan picked out the star.  Little Baby won't let him put the star on the big tree because we have always had an angel there.  I have to admit that I like the look of it when we got done.
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In the afternoon I started addressing Christmas cards.  Normally we buy cards that are personalized, but after Christmas was over last year I bought a few boxes on sale and have decided to use them this time.
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We sent our I-800A application in on November 2 and got the receipt about 10 days later, even with Veteran's Day in between.  So now we wait for a fingerprint appointment.

Halloween was a good time, but I gave my camera to Pretty Baby to take pictures of all three boys, since Brody was not coming to town and both she and Golden Baby were taking their boys to see G's parents at the same time.  So by the time I got the camera back, Aidan had had enough of his Ninja costume (he looked great!) and I only got shots of him eating candy.
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The little ones were adorable.  Ricky was a skeleton-he wanted to be a ghost but no ghost costumes were available in his size so a skeleton was his second choice.  Brody was a cowboy, and what a little swashbuckler he was!  And Matthew was a fisherman; this is the costume that Ricky wore in 2008 but because of our delay in Beijing (paperwork issue) I missed both seeing him that year and seeing Matthew born.  This makes up for it!
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And now we have a new arrival!  Our first granddaughter was born this week.  At first they thought she was 17-1/2" long (short) but on second measure, stretching her out, she was found to be 19-1/2" long.  Brody was pretty scared of her at first but he is already catching on to the big brother thing.
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Our daughter in-law with the baby earlier today

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Golden Baby and Brody with the baby on the night she was born

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Pretty Baby with her niece on the night she was born.  The baby has Pretty Baby's middle name and Matthew has her uncle's name as his middle name, so the "mutual admiration society", as I call the relationship between our first two kids, continues.

Excited little cousin-he's not the baby of the family any more.  In fact, he just turned two last month and he's potty trained.  Takes after his mother that way!
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...your husband drops him off at school at 7, does a couple of errands, and then gets home around 7:30 to hear the phone ringing-to tell him that there isn't any school today due to parent-teacher conference day!  And your kid is patiently waiting in a chair by the school office, with no doubt whatsoever that Daddy will be back when he gets the message!  And what does the kid say when Daddy shows up?  See, I told you I didn't have school today!  (Mommy is the keeper of the calendar and somehow missed it; Daddy thought Aidan was confusing next week with this week)  It didn't help that when we got the sign-up for conferences our only options were Tuesday and Wednesday afternoons--not Friday.
 
 
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Today we got the adoption agency's approval of the home study agency's report.  So, at last, the I 800 A application will be on its way first thing in the morning to Dallas.  My floor is covered with paperwork-want to make sure that everything is 100% copasetic so there is absolutely no chance of anything getting sent back!  Already had enough of that with Aidan's post-adoption paperwork.  I bought the flat rate envelope on the way home, too.